I’ve chosen to play one of the historical scenarios presented in the rule book – Edgehill 1642. By playing this scenario I miss out some parts of the pre-game preparation. This part is, as is usual with Peter Pigs rules an integral part of the enjoyment, but by picking a pre-set scenario I can focus on the actual battle rules.
This is the layout. The game is played on a grid of 8″ square (for 28mm figures), with 2 musket bases and a pike base representing a Foote Regiment, and 2 bases Cavalry. A maximum of 3 units can occupy a square (unless they are ‘unworthy’ units such as Dragoons, Artillery or Generals). The main concept is square to square combat, movement and morale, although units can move out individually (they are not fixed to any other units in the square), and fire individually if required at different targets.
First to kick off. Players may opt to Cannonade (both or just one). In this game a Cannonade was opted for. I realised later that perhaps some of the Artillery may not have been able to see to fire, but hell – it was the initial Cannonade so I made allowances!!
The Parliament guns opened up and caused hits on the Kingys right centre infantry units, whereas Kingys guns caused casualties on their opposite number. Casualties are noted against the square, figures are not removed. Effect of these casualties is not felt until the Morale phase of your turn.Upon completion of a Morale phase the casualty number is reset, also upon a winning a fight. The fact that the Morale phase is the first ‘main’ phase in a turn means casualties, and the effect they have is very important in the game.
Note: I forgot about Generals abilities, or ‘Gifts’ as the rules call them. I am sure this would have made some difference, as they allow re-rolls of attack and or defence dice – however for the purpose of the refight it was the same for both sides.
As the King was the attacker, he went first, and had to test Morale for all squares that had casualties (all actions are carried out right to left on the battlefield). His centre right infantry fell back, leaving a whole in the battle line!!! Conscripts don’t like gunfire!!! The other infantry square, the centre left, rolled for Morale, and was slightly tougher, just hunkering down and refusing to move (forward or back). The Parliament have therefore delayed the King immediately attacking with his infantry first move!!
The move system is IGO-UGO, but each side only has 4 turns in the game, any further turns have to be bought out of victory points. Turn is: (to simplify it) Morale, Move, Fight, Opponent shooting. Note; you only shoot on the opponents turn.
Back to the fight. Sadly old Kingy still had Rupert (and not the Bear!), and attacking with infantry wasn’t his thing. The Cavalry came on……
How the rules worked this out:
1st fight: Royalist trained chargers vs Parliament Conscript pistolers. Square vs Sqaure, this works out as 11die vs 6die (modifiers add or subtract numbers of dice to roll). These are rolled with a 5-6 to hit, leaving 3hits vs 1 hit. Royalists win, however no pursuit (all cavalry assaults are required to roll to see if a pursuit off table occurs). The Royalist horse gain a ‘winning the fight’ bonus.
2nd fight: Royalist veteran chargers vs Parliament Conscript and trained pistolers. 9die vs 6die, rolled to reveal 4hits each, a draw. Rupert bounces. Because he fails he takes casualties, as well as seeing if a pursuit/rout ensues. The casualties will be important in the next Royalist Morale Phase. The parliament horse gain a ‘wining the fight’ bonus.
The Parliament horse that gets pushed back keeps the casualty marker with it – this will come into its own when the Parliament forces check Morale in their turn.
On Parliaments right, the Kingys left, the Horse came forward and pushed the Parliaments Cavalry backwards, gaining a bonus ‘winning the fight’ award in the process.This worked out as 13die vs 9die, which when rolled for hits was 5hits vs 4 hits. No pursuit was rolled.
As you can see the Parliament casualty marker falls back with the cavalry.
In the Parliament firing phase in the Kings turns they hit nothing. Squares may fire straight ahead or diagonally with a modifier, even so they missed everything. Even the Dragoons……
Shooting is worked out by 1die (with modifiers) per 1/2 base with a 5-6 to hit. Guns start with more base die.
Now it as the Parliaments turn – firstly Morale. From the Parliament right
To the centre, in the Movement phase, the Parliament infantry moves forward to attack…
The two squares of Parliament infantry move up and assault the opposing squares of Royalist infantry. For movement there is a base move rate, eg 2 squares for infantry plus a free move square if it doesn’t take you into contact with the enemy. Terrain is rolled for leaving, not entering, so the free move allows you to at least move one square a turn. As the centre is open ground, move for infantry squares is 2 +1squares
Interestingly, for infantry assaults there is a push of pike mechanic which produces one side with a combat advantage over the other. It’s a simple die for each 1/2 base of pikes in the square with a 3+ successful, this is cancelled against the opponents rolled – the side with the difference then gains a benefit in the ensuing combat.
On the right centre the Kingys infantry are pushed back (11die vs 8die, 3hits to 2hits) with 1 casualty, uphill to where the (now unhappy) Kingy stands. The Parliament infantry on the left centre beats (11die to 7die, 5hits to 4hits) the Kingys infantry and pushes them back, where they go off the end of the board so are removed (they were pushed back to the base line previously by poor morale).
End of Parliament move.
So that was Edgehill in 3 moves! I have to say it was the most satisfying English Civil Wargame I have played – it felt like a battle of that time should. This was only a simple play through but I feel got the hang of the basic rules.The rule book is easy to navigate and the mechanisms easy to remember. Games easily playable in a session.
I’ve played Peter Pigs Spanish Civil War rules and so have some understanding of where he is coming from. One thing I like it that casualties, and the morale effect wounded and scared men have on the effectiveness of the unit is considered.Even the effect on other units.
One thing I had difficulty with was the use of the word squares throughout the rules to refer to units in a grid square. As a dyed in the wool Napoleonic wargamer, visions of brave infantry fending off cavalry by forming a square kept coming to mind!!